Senator Chuck Grassley is not happy with the DOJ and FBI refusing to turn over documents and material surrounding the investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. After more than a year of requests, and after several weeks of current specific requests, Senator Grassley sends a pointed letter (full pdf below) to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Grassley smells something suspicious:
If the facts are inconsistent with the plea agreement, that would be an entirely different kettle of fish.
The Department’s reply to my May 11, 2018 letter seeking information about the circumstances surrounding Lt. General Michael Flynn’s reported conversations with the Russian ambassador and FBI records related to those conversations is insufficient. The letter only recounts a series of publicly known facts about Lt. General Flynn’s plea agreement and relies on improper excuses in refusing to provide the requested information. The Committee requires this information to fulfill its Constitutional function and its charge under Senate Rules to conduct oversight of the Department of Justice.
First, as you know, some of that information was first requested on a bipartisan basis before your confirmation. The Committee has waited patiently for much more than a year for the criminal inquiry related to Lt. General Flynn to conclude. It has been more than five months since his guilty plea. Thus, there is no longer any legitimate reason to withhold facts from the Senate about the circumstances of his conversations with the Russian ambassador and his FBI interview.
Second, the Department’s letter erroneously suggests that complying with Congressional oversight would result in “the reality or the appearance of political interference” in a “pending criminal prosecution.” There is no pending prosecution. The guilty plea was more than five months ago.
The Department’s letter describes in detail what everyone already knows. Lt. General Flynn admitted to the Statement of Offense with the able assistance of counsel. All that remains is for Lt. General Flynn to be sentenced. Simply disclosing facts to the Committee could not possibly “interfere” with the case at this late date, assuming those facts are consistent with the representations that prosecutors arranged for Lt. General Flynn to swear to in federal court.
If the facts are inconsistent with the plea agreement, that would be an entirely different kettle of fish. (more pdf link)
Here’s the full letter: